Talk:Gay sexual practices

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Title and WP:Content forking[edit]

Since the term gay commonly refers to gay men and lesbian women (even to bisexual-identified people or other queer people), it may be best that the title of this article be Gay male sexual practices, not Gay sexual practices. Per Wikipedia:Manual of Style#Article titles, where it currently states "sufficiently precise," ambiguity should not cloud the heading. Yes, I am quite aware that gay, in some contexts, only refers to gay men...such as commonly being the G in LGBT. But, regardless, it is a term commonly applied to both men and women. If one wants to argue that "gay male" is unacceptable because many of the men may not identify as a gay man, I would suggest that one option is to address sexual identity in the lead, similar to how we do for the Men who have sex with men, Lesbian sexual practices and Women who have sex with women articles, but I'm not aware of any WP:Reliable sources stating that "gay male" doesn't in fact mean "a gay male," unless touching on transgender issues. There are, however, many WP:Reliable sources pointing out that the term gay is often used as an umbrella term for all LGBT people, especially LGB people. So another option is to let this article stay titled Gay sexual practices, but to add a WP:Hatnote indicating that this article is specifically about sexual practices between males, and that sexual practices between females is covered by the Lesbian sexual practices article. And then perhaps address sexual identity in the lead, providing insight into the fact that gay does not always mean "strictly homosexual person."

Secondly, Prcc27's creation of this article is currently an unnecessary WP:Content fork. Prcc27 gave the following reasoning for creating this article: "Things copied from anal sex, frot, and men who have sex with men. Since there is a 'Lesbian sexual practices' I decided to create this page. It might need a little bit of work." I don't think that is good reasoning to have used to create this article. WP:Content forks should only be created when needed; otherwise, they should generally be avoided. There was no need to fork this material to create a Gay sexual practices article. The Lesbian sexual practices article, for example, is not largely redundant. It also has substantial WP:Weight in WP:Reliable sources; this is due to the degree to which WP:Reliable sources focus on lesbian sexual practices. By contrast, WP:Reliable sources usually focus on anal sex with regard to sexual activity among gay men and other men who have sex with men, as made clear by this and many other sources; WP:Reliable sources on male-male sexual activity usually aren't nearly as focused on the different sexual practices that male-male couples might engage in. The Lesbian sexual practices article is not nearly the same as the Women who have sex with women article or any other Wikipedia article discussing sexual activity between women. But the Gay sexual practices article is currently a significant fork of material presented in other Wikipedia articles. I don't object to a Wikipedia article on this topic; I object to unnecessary redundancy. And, no, the solution is not to remove or reduce this material in those other articles; this material, all of its text, is very important to those other articles, which is why it's there. The solution is to WP:Copyedit some of the material in this article away from the same exact wording (some of it being my wording) and to expand this article with different material, material that shows this article as unique instead of as unnecessary space. One WP:Copyedit to begin with is to fix the "Health Risks" heading, per MOS:HEAD -- sentence case, not title case. Flyer22 (talk) 05:24, 12 May 2014 (UTC)

I'd prefer hatnote over name change. Prcc27 (talk) 16:58, 12 May 2014 (UTC)
I added a WP:Hatnote and made other tweaks. One of the tweaks I made, as seen in that diff-link, was remove most of the statistics regarding anal sex and to instead summarize the matter and link directly to the male-to-male prevalence section of the Anal sex article. The Anal sex article, of course, is the article for significantly elaborating on anal sex. Since, like I noted above, sources so often focus on anal sex with regard to male-male sexual activity, I know that the Gay sexual practices article is going to have paragraphs about anal sex, but when we can reduce the redundancy between articles, we should. Another thing that needs to be significantly reduced is the Health risks section; this is because the vast majority of it is an exact copy of the Sexually transmitted infections section of the Men who have sex with men article; it would be best to summarize that content and have that section link to the relevant section of the Men who have sex with men article, perhaps with a "Main article," "See also" or "Further information" link. And that is what I plan to do, if you do not do it first. I also obviously added categories -- the same categories used in the Lesbian sexual practices article, with the exception of the Category:Lesbianism.
Do be careful with WP:Content forking in the future; such forking can certainly be, and often is, a problem. This is why WP:Content forking advises against it in general. Think of it like this: When there is already one or more articles sufficiently covering the topic, there is no need for another. Not unless that "another" piece is significantly unique. The point of the WP:Content fork guideline is this: We should strive to keep aspects of a topic in one article instead of causing readers to go to multiple articles for the material, unless necessary. There are editors who will immediately nominate a WP:Content fork for deletion, if they view it as inappropriate WP:Content forking. Flyer22 (talk) 22:36, 12 May 2014 (UTC)

Source misrepresentation and WP:OR[edit]

This article seems to have become WP:COATRACK for linking numerous diseases to gay sex (protected or otherwise). Several sources are misrepresented, exaggerated, or clumsily combined in blatant violation of WP:OR. I'm inclined to nominate the article for deletion as a WP:POVFORK, but would like to hear from other editors about whether the article is worthy of being kept.- MrX 19:53, 12 June 2014 (UTC)

Here are MrX's edits to the article so far:[1][2][3][4]. Per what I stated above about cleanup, MrX, the article might be worthy of being kept. I could certainly expand it with more material about gay male sexual practices. For the record, I don't think that it was Prcc27's intention to have this article be a "gay sex leads to numerous diseases" article in disguise; I think what he intended is made clear above. He simply wanted an article about gay male sexual practices since the Lesbian sexual practices article exists. He obviously went overboard in copying content from the Men who have sex with men article, and you might want to check that article for WP:Synthesis as well. I obviously didn't get around to reducing that material in the Gay sexual practices article. Flyer22 (talk) 23:24, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for that perspective Flyer22. I will check out the other article as well.- MrX 02:02, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
@MrX and Flyer22: any coatrack issue here seems to me to be exacerbated by the prominence of the TOC. Under Gay sexual practices#health risks I'd suggest, as a short term measure, that ===level three headings=== are removed from TOC access so as to prevent, I think, undue display as:
1 Behaviors
2 Health risks
2.2 Hepatitis B
2.3 Other sexually transmitted infections
Also the health risk content covers ~1.5screens as I see it while the lead and behaviours content minus TOC but including pics presents less than one screen.
GregKaye 08:52, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
Should health risks be changed to health concerns. For instance the gay couples that I know face no risk but certainly, a physician within one of the couples, has as much of a legitimate and general level of concern as anyone. GregKaye 09:10, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
I think health risks is the correct heading, and I'm not really concerned about the TOC. If the article is about gay sexual practices, then that is what most of the article should be about, with a brief mention of risks. For example, the first two sentences of 'Hepatitis B' have absolutely nothing to do with the article subject. Whoever created the 'Health risks' section clearly wanted to advance a point of view that gay sex is fraught with awful diseases. Let me see if I can fix some if it now.- MrX 19:01, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
MrX, keep in mind what I stated above in this section about Prcc27 having created this article. Knowing what topics Prcc27 edits and how Prcc27 edits them, I highly doubt that Prcc27 is anti-gay and wanted the article to advance the point of view that "gay sex is fraught with awful diseases." That stated, Prcc27 might think that frot and some other sex acts that concern gay sex are healthier than anal sex (after all, I have encountered gay or bisexual male Wikipedia editors who think that way), but I think we should let Prcc27 have his say instead of speculating on what anti-view he might have. Flyer22 (talk) 19:59, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
Flyer22 please don't misunderstand me. I don't suspect Prcc27 of malicious intent, nor do I question their good faith. I just think that they have approached the subject from a point of view that is not consistent with what I would expect from an article about gay sexual practices. - MrX 20:14, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
I trimmed some material after you did, per this discussion. There was no need for the subheadings for the Health risks section after the trimming. Flyer22 (talk) 20:45, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. That's an improvement.- MrX 20:49, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

I have removed content from the 'health risks' subsection, which was the largest before the removal, in violation of 'Undue' policy. The content can be re-added as the core of the article grows. Rafe87 (talk) 16:19, 10 November 2015 (UTC)

Rafe87 (talk · contribs), you removed too much material from the section. For example, the human papillomavirus (HPV) material should be re-added considering how common HPV is and what the material stated about its relationship to MSM. And the frot/non-penetrative sex material should be added back, since that type of sexual activity does not pose as much of a risk as anal sex. This content should be supported by quality sources, however, per WP:MEDRS. In the #Latest edits to the Activities section section below, also see what I stated about other changes you made to the article. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 06:09, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
The HPV section had literally nothing to do with MSM. Material that doesn't directly relate to the subject should be removed - this entry should not be turned into a list of all STDs that could possibly be caught by someone gay. The frot etc. material was editorializing, and had no source backing up its assertion about sex risks. The reference to J.A. Kowalski's paper is abstruse and doesn't clear up the subject in the least. Rafe87 (talk) 13:59, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
Rafe87 (talk · contribs) (last time WP:Pinging you to this section because I assume that you will check back here if you want to read replies), there is no sexual act that is exclusive to MSM except for frot and docking. So, yes, of course the Health risks section should include some commonly sexually transmitted infections; HPV is one of the main ones. And content that was there mentioned MSM and anal cancer, and that "Men with HIV are also more likely to get severe cases of genital warts that are hard to treat." As for frot, it is a form of frottage. And the "No-Risk Sexual Activities" section of this source that was in the article before you removed it states, "Frottage—also known as 'dry humping' or body-to-body rubbing [...] You can still contract other STDs, like herpes, HPV, or pubic lice ('crabs') if you have bare skin-to-skin contact with your partner." This source that was also there similarly supports that information. Better sources can be used to support the frot/frottage material. As for the J.A. Kowalski material, I don't care much if that stays or goes. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 14:41, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
I'm not the one disputing that frot can be conducive to STDs. What I removed was only the reference to it carrying fewer risks, which, if I remember correctly, was not sourced and therefore was editorializing. (talk) 14:45, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
And yes, I maintain that the health risks subsection should not become just a who's who in the STD world. Make it relevant to MSM. Rafe87 (talk) 14:46, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
I stand by my "14:41, 11 November 2015 (UTC)" post above; for example, I already noted that frot being of lower risk and carrying no HIV risk was sourced. I will now respond to you in the #Latest edits to the Activities section section below. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 14:51, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
The Health risks section of this article should be similar to the one currently seen at the Lesbian sexual practices article, in that it starts off by noting the topic of sexually transmitted infections, how the risks of them differ between penetrative and non-penetrative sex acts, and in that it includes material specific to same-sex sexual activity. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 15:56, 11 November 2015 (UTC)


A lot of the docking information that was just added is unsourced and unclear. I'm not sure how much of it should be reverted! Prcc27 (talk) 00:54, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

This page doesn't make too much sense since the sexual practices referred on it are not exclusive of gay couples but are also performed by a lot of heterosexual couples. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:35, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

There are two practices noted in the article that are exclusive to male same-sex couples; those are frot and docking. But that is beside the point. The article is specifically about sexual practices that male same-sex couples engage in. Above, I did argue unnecessary WP:Content forking (and unnecessary WP:Content forking irritates me), but the article is here and can be expanded and fixed up better than it is. Flyer22 (talk) 19:02, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

Common name as "Gay sex"[edit]

I was wondering whether direct reference to "Gay sex" in the article title would be appropriate as this seems to be commonname. See: Ngram and Google Trend results. GregKaye 09:23, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

Well, think about it for a second...- MrX 20:16, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
If GregKaye means including "gay sex" in the lead as a WP:Alternative title, I don't mind that. But like I noted in the #Title and WP:Content forking section above, the term gay refers to females as well; and "gay sex" can also mean "lesbian sex." The WP:Hatnote at the top of the Gay sexual practices article takes care of anyone looking for the Lesbian sexual practices article. Flyer22 (talk) 20:29, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
I agree that the term "Gay" can be used with broad meaning and that, in this case, it is ambiguous. Perhaps appropriate titles might be either Gay sexual practices (male) or Gay sex (male). Either way "Gay sex" better meets the stipulation of WP:UCRN. The current title is no less ambiguous than an alternate commonname version. The content forking issue applied to the use of "Gay" without reference to a gender specific word such as "male". It doesn't relate to the commonname titling as ".. sex" rather than ".. sexual practices". All the same it is also clear that the commonname title can be clearly viewed within a title presentation as Gay sexual practices. GregKaye 08:47, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
There is no need to change the title to Gay sexual practices (male) or to Gay sex (male) since there is no article titled Gay sexual practices (female) or Gay sex (female); nor should there be. Per WP:Disambiguation, we should only disambiguate when needed. Since there is a Lesbian sexual practices article, and the Gay sexual practices article is clear about its scope, there is no need to disambiguate the Gay sexual practices article in the way that you suggest. Yes, it can be argued that some people coming to this article will be looking for sexual activity among females as well; but, again, there is the WP:Hatnote to help them read about what they want to read about in that regard. There is also the option of turning gay sex into a disambiguation page. Flyer22 (talk) 21:31, 20 June 2015 (UTC)


Must you show that gross picture of the man being sodomized? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:33, 14 July 2015 (UTC)

What were you expecting to see on a Wikipedia article titled "Gay sexual practices", bearing in mind that Wikipedia is not censored? Content on Wikipedia goes by our policies and guidelines, and not personal taste. – Zumoarirodoka(talk)(email) 15:28, 9 August 2015 (UTC)
Do we need to show child molestation in an article about child molestation? Surely these extremely vile acts can be discussed without the need for pornographic imagery. (talk) 20:16, 14 August 2015 (UTC)
You finding them to be "extremely vile acts" and "pornographic" is your own opinion. Nobody's forcing you to view the page, and I think that a painting such as the one you object to is perfectly encyclopaedic: I do personally have issues with real life photos on Wikipedia, but as I mentioned before, Wikipedia is uncensored.
Also, compare the sexual intercourse article – do you object to the imagery used there, or just on this page? As noted on the fellatio talkpage, you seem to take a rather keen interest in removing male-on-male sex acts from Wikipedia. I'm sorry about that, but what were you really expecting with a page on "Gay sexual practices"? – Zumoarirodoka(talk)(email) 21:05, 14 August 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I am certainly against the posting of extremely vile pornography on all Wikipedia articles. What do I expect when I come to these pages? I expect an encyclopedic article on the act in question, not a pornographic representation of this act. How gross this is, and vulgar. Look at the Wikipeda article on Urination and you will see a line figure and a photo of a fully clothed man, from behind, with no private skin exposed. Can we not be that decent in this article? (talk) 03:05, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
I will not give money to Wikipedia so long as it shows these pornographic images of extremely disgusting sex acts. (talk) 08:36, 12 November 2015 (UTC)
  • It's not pornographic; it's art. Prcc27 (talk) 22:59, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

Latest edits to the Activities section[edit]

I took issue with most of the edits that Rafe87 (talk · contribs) made to the Activities section. And here's why: Rafe87, judging by how the section looked after your edits to it, it seems to me like you tried to make anal sex appear more popular among gay men/MSM than it actually is. Even if that was not your intention, you inserted the anal sex material in a counterexample way, so as to conflict with what studies usually report these days on gay men/MSM and anal sex -- that it isn't as popular among them as the media makes it out to be; in fact, it usually ranks second, third, or more distantly. Furthermore, you removed the following line: "Some men who have sex with men, however, believe that being a receptive partner during anal sex questions their masculinity." There was no valid reason to remove that, since it actually plays a large role with regard to feelings about anal sex among the MSM community. Therefore, I restored it.

I did not like the way you ordered/worded some things. What I liked about the version of the section before your edits is how it started out addressing anal sex but also noting that it isn't as popular among MSM as people think and that MSM commonly engage in other sexual practices. It addressed the variety first before specifically addressing anal sex only, or other sexual acts only. Your version also had a bit of WP:Editorializing, and made pseudo headings, which goes against WP:BADHEAD. Furthermore, per MOS:Paragraphs, a little bit of content usually does not need a subheading. You also need to be careful not to add primary source after primary source, and should not make it seem like such sources apply to the world at large when they only apply to the United States or some other specific region; see the WP:Primary source policy. I also don't think sources like this this source should be used for this material.

All that stated... Since anal sex is so focused on when it comes to MSM, and since it's best to explain what something is first, I crafted a version that solely focuses on anal sex at the beginning, then goes into how anal sex is popularly associated with MSM, but that there is sexual variety among MSM, and that the rates for anal sex vary; it then provides specific information on other sexual practices. I restored the Jerzy Adam Kowalski material because I don't see why you removed it. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 05:54, 11 November 2015 (UTC)

Update: More tweaks here and here. And I will likely add something to counter the following sentence: "A study by the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior (NSSHB) indicated that men who self-report taking a receptive position during anal sex in their last encounter were at least as likely to have reached orgasm as men who adopted an insertive role." It should be countered because it is very common for a man not to experience an orgasm via prostate stimulation during receptive anal sex, while his male partner, who is doing the penetrating, will most assuredly achieve one (usually anyway). Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 10:11, 11 November 2015 (UTC)

The "at least as likely to have reached orgasm as men who adopted an insertive role" aspect is usually the case only when the man is directly stimulating his penis in some way or when his male partner is directly stimulating his penis while penetrating him. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 10:15, 11 November 2015 (UTC)

The version that preceded my edits was so poorly written. Before dropping a subject, we should explore it in its full depth. We should not mention anal sex, then immediately start discussing other forms of sex, and then discuss anal sex again. This is poor writing, it's confusing and undisciplined. If my edits are guilty of making anal sex look more popular among gay men, then yours are guilty of doing the opposite, downplaying its frequency. What I did was explain that anal sex has high lifetime participation rates among MSM, even if it's not as assiduously practiced as other sexual practices, which is exactly what the sources on the subject are saying. Why should downplaying the frequency of anal sex be prioritized in the entry at the cost of muddying RS's findings? The Five...source has a link to the study being referenced, so it can be replaced; I decided to use it because it has a table where whoever is interested can verify the information mentioned in the entry, whereas the study itself is paywalled. But if one'd rather replace one source for the other, I won't object. And my presentation of the information does not suggest that the passive role in anal sex is more or less pleasurable than insertive sex; what it did was explain exactly what a study found, that men who bottom are at least as likely to have reached orgasm as men who assumed insertive roles in their last encounter. Sure that could be partly due to other sexual behaviors practiced throughout the encounter - my edits do note that multiple sex behaviors are practiced during gay sex. But that goes for men who assume the insertive role as well. Look at the table with more attention, and you will see that men who have had other forms of sexual behavior in their last encounter, including masturbation, which you say is what gives pleasure to the bottom, did not have a higher orgasm rate than men who bottomed. So it shouldn't be discounted that the experience of being anally penetrated is directly contributing to the bottom's pleasure as well, which, in turn, is relevant to discuss the popular perception that "gay sex is painful". Rafe87 (talk) 14:29, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
I don't view your version as written better than the previous version. So we disagree on that. The previous version that was there started off by noting a variety of sexual practices. It began with "Historically, anal sex has been popularly associated with male homosexuality and MSM." because anal sex is the first thing people think of when they think of "sex between men", and it also began with that so that it could smoothly lead into "However, many MSM do not engage in anal sex, and may engage in oral sex, frottage or frot, or mutual masturbation instead." So the text did not start off primarily focusing on anal sex. It moved into noting other sexual aspects. After that, it then addressed anal sex specifically and other sex acts specifically. The first paragraph was a summary paragraph of sexual practices. The current version, as you know, is different since it starts off with anal sex only, and then goes into discussion of other sexual acts, including as compared to anal sex. I did not downplay anal sex in the version you complain about (in fact, an editor copied and pasted my text to this article from elsewhere, as noted above on this talk page); I simply did not give it WP:Undue weight. This is not the Anal sex article, nor should it be. Studies consistently show that anal sex is not as popular among gay men/MSM as society and the general media make it out to be, and this article should be clear about that. Yes, so much of the literature on gay male sexual activity focuses on anal sex, because of the popular association of "gay men = anal sex", but we should not go out of our way to make this article so much about anal sex. There are a variety of things that gay men/MSM do sexually, and a lot of them are tired of people thinking that all they do is have anal sex; a lot of them are tired of reading about anal sex as though it is their only option or main go-to option. This article should be an encyclopedia article covering the variety of sexual practices that gay men engage in. And we should not be listing any and every primary source study. WP:Secondary sources, such as scholarly book sources, are preferred. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 15:23, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
The second paragraph should be the first one because it would be a better introductory paragraph. Prcc27 (talk) 23:06, 13 November 2015 (UTC)
Per above, I obviously agree, but Rafe87 seemingly wanted the first paragraph to focus on anal sex, so I crafted the new first paragraph with that thought in mind. If we move it so that it is the second paragraph, then it should begin with "Among men who have anal sex with other men", like it did before, instead of begin with "MSM may engage in anal sex" (since the "MSM may engage in anal sex" aspect will already be noted in the first paragraph). Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 07:47, 14 November 2015 (UTC)